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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Eid Al Adha

I wrote this blogpost on the first Eid for me in U.A.E. ,three years have rolled by and on the eve of another Eid iam reposting the same .......

Eid Al Adha ( Bakrid ) is a festival celebrated by Muslims all over the world and in commemoration of Hazrat Ibraheems ( Alay his- salaam ) willingness to sacrifice his beloved son Hazrat Ishmaeel ( Alay his-salaam )when he was tested to do so .
Inthe end God made him sacrifice a lamb instead .

This is also called the bigger Eid as compared to Eid al fitr ( Ramzan )which is a day shorter .

Usually this is seventy days after the Ramadan month .

On this day believers sacrifice a lamb or sheep to symbolise the event,

it actually depicts willingness to submit and accept divine commandments .

In Morocco,Algeria ,Tunisia ,Libya and Egypt it is called Eid-El-Kibr,

in Nigeria it is called Babbar Sallah,

in India and Pakistan it is called Baqra-Eid ,

Indonesians call it as Idhul Adha,

in Turkey Kurban Baiyrami or sacrifice feast ,

Keralites call it as velliya Perunaal.

On this day muslims will dress in thier best finery and go to the mosque for prayers ,those who can afford sacrifice thier best domestic animals ,

sacrificed animals are called as Udhiya in Arabic .

The meat is to be distributed to the poor and needy and feasted with family and friends .

courtesy Wikepedia .

To me in the UAE for the first time this festival was a time to learn more about it and the beliefs behind it ,

The holidays stretched for more than a week and the climate was ideal for long walk

I did just that beating the evening chill with a jerkin,

Al Ain is meant for walking with its neat paved pavements ,grassy knolls filled with colourful flowers and sprinklers spraying thier wetness in deference .

I could walk to the end of the north pole like this !

The junctions were festooned with colourful lights and the city had a festive air with cars 'zooming about to reach the malls for shopping juggernauts . The shops were laden with sweets and gifts .

People are generally polite and even a stranger would greet you with a salaam,

Most drivers are courteous and give preference to a pedestrian when crossing the roads

( I mean smaller ones ,the bigger ones ,one has to use the pedestrian crossings if one doesnt want to turn into fine dust )

A young Arab was driving his big car when I tried to cross one bylane ,he stopped it and smiled at me waving me to do so ,I mouthed a silent thanks and did just that ,

Incidents like this does warm your heart ,people are the same everywhere some are concerned while others are rash .

In the emergency room of my hospital as I went to see a patient on my on call day one of the ER clerks who did the orientation in the beggining in my batch came rushing and embraced me in a warm hug ,

" Dr Hari so nice to see you ,how are you ? Id Mubarak ."he said ,

same day i got a phone call from a patients son "dr let me wish you all the best on this day we want to thank you for looking after father ."

These are small incidents in ones life ,( like in anybody elses ) that gives back the message that after all human beings wherever and whatever are all the same ,

we have to be ,being from the same creator .

....................Eid Mubarak.........

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Abhu Dhabi

Though I landed in Abhu Dhabi on my maiden visit to the UAE it looked like a maze of plotted lines from the air and the airport and its surroundings far from the city didnt impress me at all ,I left to Al Ain immediately and never had a chance to visit Abhu Dhabi unlike Dubai which was almost my weekly timeout .
So when I used a meeting in the Intercontinental and a convenient stay there ,to see AbhuDhabi I never thought I would fall for it but I did .The Intercontinental had a novel of way of inviting its guests ,the TV blinked open with a personal invitation but I was christened with a new name in the welcome as

Dr .Narayanan Hari Moh....... !!!!( that sounds distinctly Assamese )

In fact I liked Abhu Dhabi a lot more than Dubai for it is neater ,more organised with less people and lesser confusion .
Intercontinental near the corniche was the right place to go for a night walk which I did after the meeting and the november breeze chilled me to my bones ,I could gaze into the seven star Emirates palace one of the most wonderful hotels in the world right on the sea ,its sandstone facade was like a desert palace in Rajasthan lit in the night .

Beyond it was the Marina mall the huge shopping complex with its Carrefour and many other branded shops .

The food court in the mall was a huge cauldron of gluttons from all nations .
A tall fountain sprayed water and mist to the roof as people lazed and gazed at it .
posh cars were available as gifts for the lucky ones .

Abhu Dhabi has huge multistoryed buildings dwarfing the roads ,there were plenty of sit outs and eating places on the corniche with brillianly coloured yatches and motorboats cruising in the bay .

Malayalees were in the dozen and one could trip on them like as anywhere in the U.A.E.

Next day was spent on loitering and meeting some friends ,taxis are more economic than in Dubai and like in Al Ain have friendly grinning Pakistani drivers .

The pavements are kept neat and vacummed by workers !!

Evening saw me move on to Tawam bus which was on its weekend shopping trip to the city and back to Al Ain .

And so Abhudhabi has one more suitor in her pocket now.

Friday, December 07, 2007


I remember the magazine Bhavans journal from my childhood ,in the yesteryear Madras many houses I visited had this small cute magazine lying with the newspapers on the front table and I remember browsing through some as I was attuned to get my hands on anything in print from those days .

The articles didnt make such sense to a small boy at that age ,to me Richie rich ,his valet Cadbury or the goggled Phantom were more attractive but the pictures and mythological stories were inviting ,I considered it as something like Chandammama my another favourite with an Indianness to it .

I had wanted to subscribe to it for a long time but never came to it though I did several others .

This is a periodical that sells every fortnight more than 7,25000 copies ,and it caters to good taste with no obscenity or glamour as its sales pitch ,on the contrary it dealt with the heritage and greatness of Bharath ,its spritual wisdom accumulated over the centuries .

It brought out the wisdom from our wise .
It was on November 7th 1938 that Shri Kulapati Munshiji who later became the Education minister in Pandit Jawarhalals cabinet founded the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan with the blessings of Mahatma Gandhi .

His dream was a centre to crystallise the ancient learning and modern intellectual aspirations of this land to create a new literature and culture .

From humble beginnings today the Bhavan has come to occupy a position as a centre for Indian culture and Indological research .

The trust runs a string of schools all over the country called Bhartiya Viday Mandir where children are given holistic education abiding to the cultural values of our forefathers
.My daughter today is a proud student of one Bhavans school .
The journal was started in 1954 .
It was in my middle age that I finally got Bhavans posted to me every fortnight and strangely as a well prized gift from someone .

When I was at Lakeshore hospital working in the medical oncology department Ms. L was one of our patients suffering from acute Leukaemia ,she would stoically bear the rigors of her treatment and always had a smiling face when I met her on rounds ,I always used to see her with a Bhavans Journal among other books with her and I used to leaf through them ,
she gave me back issues to read and we used to discuss the articles .
The unfortunate inevitable happened and L left us one day,
After a few days her husband came to meet me in the hospital ,he had a big bundle of Bhavans journals with him and he said L wanted you to get this after she was no more and I have instructed them to post further issues to your home adress every fortnight ,
my eyes was full as I got the books from him .

so now as I read my Bhavans I always remember L and her wonderful gift to me ........
( the image above is fictious )

Sunday, December 02, 2007

U.A.E. National day

Today is the 36th national day of UAE and I felt I owed a blogpost to the new country Iam in .

UAE is a federation of seven sheikdoms in the southeastern corner of the Arabian penisula .
The seven emirates are Abhu Dhabi ,Dubai ,Sharjah ,Umm Al quian ,Ajman ,
Ras El Khaimah ,and Fujairah .
The capital city is AbhuDhabi and is located in the emirate of the same name .
The British who had maintained thier presence here for over a century left in 1971 .

The late Sheik Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan and the late Sheik Rahsid Bin saeed Al Maktoum took a descision to form a federation of the sheikdoms ,

On december 2nd 1971 the UAE flag was raised for the first time and the rest is history .
The rapid strides the country has taken in all fronts spurred by its oil and commerce engines is spellbinding .

It envisages the vision of its leaders and thier long term planning to make UAE one of the best in the world .the country enjoys one of the worlds highest standards of living ,today it is also one of the safest and peaceful places in the world .

This great achievement in such a short time has hard work and dedication behind it .

Here the rules are simple and no nonsense and are to be followed for the good of everyone .

There is no labour unrest here ,no hartals ,or bandhs but the rights of labourers too are taken care with concern ,a fine example is during summer workers are given a long lunch gap and generally one found them lying under trees outside buildings to escape the harsh sun ,this was curbed immediately and owners forced to provide AC rest rooms for them by the government ,minimum facilities and space for labour quarters were strictly enforced and employers had to provide this for thier employees .

When we compare this scenario with our country specially the states ruled by the saviuors of workers the communists one finds the benifit never peters to the worker for all his zindabad howling but only to the party bigwigs by the constant sitouts ,gheroas and other protests .

Many are the companies who have shifted to other states because of this labout unrest and comsequent loss of jobs is the result ,but alas our people have thier sympathies misplaced .

The news in TV from Kerala is full of controversies ,demonstrations and demolitions ,it is filled by verbal insinuations by leaders against each other ,where do these men have time to rule the country ?

In UAE the infrastructure is excellent ,roads are smooth ,traffic is orderly , rules are strict but fair ,the principle is work hard ,earn money and live well but abide to rules .

We too have good roads in India today in places like Tamilnadu ,Haryana ,Delhi ,etc ,but we are yet to see the results of the money pumped into it over the years ,for that matter as Rajiv Gandhi famously opined if the government spends a rupee only 10 paise peters down ,middlemen ,politicos ,racketeers plunder our wealth and have been doing it over the years ,the country has been perpetually divided by casteism and reservations have made the divisions sharper to make ready made votebanks for politcal parties .
Communal divisions have been the panacea of politics all this has taken a toll in our development ,ravaged by frequent wars and border disturbances ,spurred by terrorism fuelled by our neighbours and international weapons selling nations we have been over several obstacles in our devlopment .
A long era of socialist principles which though intially triggered our progress as Panditjis famous temples of science later on became the garb of selfish politicians for one upmanship and consequent retardation of our enterprise .

In spite of all this India purred silently and has now started roaring with the new economic engines taking its rightful place in the comity of nations.
when compared to the UAE we have immense resources ,climate ,land ,people ,skills ,history ,diversity you name it we have it ,Indians are talented and skilled in all they do ,Indian cuisine ,culture ,and philosophy has no parallels ,it is all highly developed .

Of course we dont have the oil to give us unlimited income but let us just imagine even if he had the oil would our leaders have done what has been done in a place like UAE ?
The progress we see in India today is in spite of our lacklustre leaders ( there are several exeptions to this statement of course ) ,it is the progress that is the handiwork of our brilliant business community ,look at our Ambanis ,look at Infosys the Tatas ,they are the ones who are taking our country soaring to the sky ,one can accuse them of capitalism and west mongering imperialism but have they not benifitted our country by way of employment ,giving people education and higher standards of living ,have they not created the IT revolution in our country ?
Again I often hear this refrain that the progress today has only widened the gap between the haves and have nots ,true to a certain extent but is the answer to create a land of have nots ,no ,definitely the progress will trickle down in creating jobs ,and oppurtunities for others ,this is the only way we can come up beacause years of bottling up had only fattened our politician but not our people .
Education in the UAE is given great importance ,every national is encouraged to study all he wants with the state providing all the needs ,in India there are many who get no primary education ,to the government this has been low priority
Merit is being murdered by reservations and parochialism ,regionalism pervades education like bookworms .Brilliant students are frustrated and try to get away draining the country of its cerebral reserves .
in states like Kerala students are lured into campus politics at the cost of thier future

India is a great country blessed with resorceful people but burderned by poor leaders .

we need visionaries to carry us forwards visionaries like our former president Dr Abdul Kalam

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